A Place Lived – #9 Grove Street
Ann Shepherd, ‘Shirt Maker’

In 1881 Ann Shepherd (age 52), lived at number 9 Grove Street with her daughter Ann (age 20). Ann was a 'Shirt Maker' and worked with Margaret Shaw (age 59) from Ireland. The three women lodged at number 9 with the Grimes family. John Grimes (age 42) was a 'Cordwainer', a shoemaker who makes new shoes from new leather. The 'Cordwainer' trade can be contrasted with the cobbler's trade, according to a tradition in Britain that restricted cobblers to repairing shoes, rather than making them. Trades at the time were defined by skilled work that often required an apprenticeship, undertaken from an early age instead of school.

In 1881: 249 people lived in Grove Street and St John’s Place, occupying a total of 36 houses.

94 of these people were under 18 years of age, of these 15 worked and 34 went to school.

Only 10 people were over 60 years of age, 7 of whom still worked, the oldest being 71.

136 people had trades, the youngest was 11 years of age and her job was a ‘Nurse Girl’.

46 of the residents worked in textile and clothing trades.

49 % were Mancunian.

A Place Lived – #9 Grove Street
Alice Unwin, ‘Silk Winder’

In 1851 Alice Unwin a ‘Silk Winder’ (age 22) lived in the cellar of number 9 Grove Street. She wound silk by hand onto bobbins and spools for twisting. Alice’s mother Elizabeth Unwin (age 47) was also a ‘Winder’. John Unwin (age 69), Alice’s father, was a ‘Weaver’. Her brothers John (age 21), Charles (age 17) and George (age 10) each worked as a ‘Maker Up’. The cotton and silk mills in Manchester employed a great number of people, with many jobs perceived as less skilled than others - a ‘Weaver’ was understood to be more highly skilled than a ‘Winder’. Many children were employed in less skilled roles, for example a ‘Scavenger’ cleaned up the cotton fluff which accumulated under the weaving and spinning machines. A ‘Piecer’ or ‘Little Piecer’ would be a child who mended broken threads during spinning or a ‘Doffer’ loaded empty cops (bobbins) and unloaded full cops from a spinning machine.

In 1851: 286 people lived in Grove Street and St John’s Place, occupying a total of 36 houses.

96 of these people were under 18 years of age, of these 23 worked and 22 went to school.

Only 17 people were over 60 years old, 11 of these residents were working at the time, the oldest being 84 years of age.

166 people had trades, the youngest was 10 years old - George Unwin.

38 residents worked in the textile and clothing trades.

36% were Mancunian.

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